A reader writes:
With so many tools that could work for time tracking, task management, forecasting, what factors should I consider to determine which tool might work best for my unique team?
Soooo....many.......tooooolllssssss.... Seriously, so many tools. Look, I'm old. I used to joke about it because I have had white hair since my 20s but I'm literally actually old now, and as an old person, I do things in old ways. I still carry a notebook and pen around. And I still use spreadsheets. I'm a freelancer, and I usually need to use whatever my client is using currently (if anything) and I've also worked for quite a few places where tools just aren't used. To allow me to keep myself sane, I fall back on the basics - a lot.
But I also advocate for those basics. I am a big believer in creating a process that works and THEN using a tool that fits the process you know works for the situation you're in. There's something to be said for finding a tool you like and creating a process, sure - but I find that you wind up making concessions or overworking something just to fit the tool you have.
So - if you have a process already, I suggest writing that out and matching it up with the flows for some of the tools that you're interested in trying out. Find a tool that won't make you alter your process too much to use it, and then test it out on a project or two before going full in. If you don't have a process yet, try to sketch that out before looking at tool flows. If you have time, test out a few process flows old school, using tools you already have. Once you know a process works pretty well, then try to match up a tool to your process.